Venture Weekend in Wicklow - Day 2
Sunday morning started early for Ciaran, who unfortunately had to get to work for 8am, which meant leaving by 7. It was still dark when he left. Poor Ciaran. Brendan was up next followed by Emma who was getting up to do some homework before breakfast. Finn and Adam decided they were cooking breakfast (a fry). We were slightly cautious since Adam's last camp cooking ended up in burnt spaghetti and Finn didn't know that sausages took longer to cook than rashers.
Unfortunately, a heavy mist came down so we were unable to eat outside.. we all squished into the kitchen and ate our fill. Aoife helped out with some toast and Mary fried up some eggs.
After Breakfast we packed up our gear and tidied the lodge a bit and then headed back down to the woods to have another go at the bivvy. Mary had to head to work early as well so she elected to stay behind and do a bit more tidying/sweeping before she left at 12. In the woods the ventures go to work immediately. The plan was to put a roof over the gap between some rocks and then add walls. We already had a supply of large branches to make the roof frame from the attempted bivvys from yesterday. We decided to use ferns and moss to waterproof the roof so some got to work collecting them, while some worked on construction of the frame.
It was a brilliant team effort to get the bivvy built. Brendan Showed Aisling, Amy, and Ellie how to "shave a rock" to get the moss off in a nice big blanket. It was then carefully placed on top of all the ferns to cover all the gaps. The moss absorbs any water so is a really good material to use to waterproof the roof and walls. When we were done, we were very proud of what we had built. It was definitely usable for a damp night. We have been building bivvys for years with all sections. Usually it's just a bunch of sticks lying against a tree. This was something else entirely. This was working towards stage 5 on the Backwoods Adventure Skills badge and is the standard we want to see from our ventures from now on. It was a lot of work, but well worth it as you can see from the pictures below. You wouldn't even know it was there unless you looked at tit from the front.
Everyone piled in and we took some photos before we took it down. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to leave it up. The ventures were really disappointed about this because they had put so much effort into making it.
We left the poles that made the frame scattered around the wood and returned the moss and ferns to the rock areas that they had grown in. We practice leave no trace. The Bivvy was right here 10 mins beforehand in the image below.
This little guy was happy to see us leaving anyway so he could get back to his peace and quiet.
We headed back up the hill to the lodge for a bit of lunch and a final tidy up before parents were arriving to pick up at 3pm. Ham and Cheese rolls was on the menu, but we found some tomato puree and so decided to change the menu to mini Pizzas done on the grill. We also found some garlic and so Ella decided to make garlic butter with parley and use up the last of the rolls to make garlic bread. While lunch was being prepared we swept and mopped the lodge and made sure it was clean for the next group to use it.
We had a quick chat about what our next activity should be and most people wanted to do a pioneering day. Some were working on it on Wednesday night and will be for the next while to make sure they are super familiar with all of the basic lashings and why and when to use them. We will discuss it further on Wednesday, but for now, it's a plan.
There was time for one last dance before we headed off. Thankfully Brendan didn't join in.
It was a super weekend even if it was only one night. We had spectacular weather and an amazing location. The ventures got stuck in and took the lead in their Adventure Skills badge work, which is what everyone wanted to see. It could just possibly be the start of a bright future for the venture section as we finally get a program up and running how it should be. There was no stress and everyone got on great. That was the main aim of the weekend. New Ventures and Older ventures working together and getting to know each other again after a year apart. Mission accomplished, for now.